Trump Climate

A climate skeptic in the White House? Yes, that’s what we have.

While there are several ways in which the climate debate can move, as a skeptic, observer, and occasional participant, I wanted to outline some key points.

Representation

Who does the climate issue belong to? Here is one of the darkest, damnedest of secrets of climate/AGW activism: the climate issue belongs to no one. As a political issue, climate change has no owner. Climate has no natural constituency. It has no vote bank, no demographic, no sect or group.

What this means is, if you don’t push the climate cause as an elected government, no one will be angry or upset because there is no one to be angry or upset. No one cares about the climate, including climate activists who pretend to do so the most. Despite their best efforts not enough people have taken up climate change as part of the array of topics they hold partisan views about. ‘Climate change’ is an unparalleled repellent and buzz kill. But there is a constant noise and drumbeat in the media about climate, where does it come from? Only paid activists. There are many paid activists but they have precisely one vote each, and their money cannot buy elections. See Clinton, Sanders, Jeb Bush … See Obama, he did not utter the word climate in his re-election campaign.

If this comes as a shock you don’t have to take my word for it, I can provide two impeccable sources. First, the scholarly work of Roger Pielke Jr. He proved conclusively there is a ‘iron law’—people will pay for the climate cause to a point but not more. This is the same as above stated in reverse. If you don’t care at all about something, you would still be willing to part with some money for it. Second, the climate activists themselves. There is an entire body of academic work obsessing about why climate change has not earned widespread public support, with such luminaries as Stephen Lewandowsky and Dan Kahan, to mention a few. They wouldn’t be doing it if climate had widespread support, would they?

Public face

The climate issue needs a public face. Myron Ebell is a great pick for the EPA. While the apoplexy proceeds apace on the regulatory side, it would be good to be proactive on the climate side, too. Pick Roger Pielke Jr to front your climate policy team (create one, you’re going to need it). Now skeptics might hem and haw a little but Pielke Jr is one of the ‘good guys.’ It would be karmic justice and a triumphant comeback, having been knifed by Obama climate ‘czar’ John Holdren and perennially wrong data czar Nate Silver, for saying no more than the most reasonable and scientifically valid things. He is a veteran, knows the climate players and the issues very well. He and his Hartwell colleagues are stabilists – they have the uncanny ability to make perfectly agreeable statements on climate policy that lead nowhere. Plus, Pielke Jr has the added benefit of driving climate activists completely nuts whenever he says anything. That is exactly what is needed.

Kyoto, Paris

The Paris agreement is a dead duck. Obama and the Democrats figured they could screw over sections of the US whose livelihoods were directly connected to coal. They tried to electorally counter-balance it by recruiting ‘Hispanics, Blacks, and women.’ Hispanics, Blacks and women do not care about the climate, did not vote in enough numbers to propel the Democratic candidate to the presidency, and coal communities voted strongly against. Implementing the Paris agreement would mean replicating this clean coal voting experiment throughout the country. Wanna try?

Even if implemented, the Paris agreement is not binding on countries that enter it. Such agreements harm western countries like the UK, UK or Australia more than the developing world, for a variety of reasons. Governance and regulation are of a higher standard and penalties are stiff, and there is a tendency to obey rules, even unenforceable and self-harming ones. People don’t see it this way but one of the innovations of the Paris agreement is its non-binding nature, and it needs to be shot down for this very corrupting influence.

Moreover, there is science on the skeptics’ side. The Paris agreement is scientifically absurd and nonsensical.

Funding and how it is organized

This is a longstanding issue in the climate field. The funding of climate studies – be it in science or the humanities – is a major driver of climate activism and alarmism. Much has been written about the self-fulfilling and self-aggrandizing nature of climate alarmism. Sections of ‘the science,’ and in particular certain climate scientists, are relentless alarmists and have carved out whole careers in ‘scicomm’-ing and climate alarm. Climate humanities are fully sold on alarm and constantly spend their efforts trying to figure out ways of persuading, or pathologizing the public. Vast sums of money are expended on climate models that never provide output commiserate with reality but yet form the basis of policy-making. These models are under IPCC/UNFCCC evolutionary selection pressure and ones with jacked-up sensitivities and lacking natural variability get picked. Warmed-up model output is even used to up-tweak raw observational data.

A dramatic shift toward observational science and a break away from modeling is needed. This can be achieved by restructuring funding. Take the example of Australia, which reorganized and pared down its CSIRO workforce.

Global temperature

Global temperature average measurement has been excessively complicated. The NOAA/NCDC collects global data and produces its own average. But it cannot provide satisfactory justifications for the numerous adjustments that are made in the process. Certain adjustments may be necessary but there is suspicion the rationale behind them is politically motivated and unsound. A lack of openness and transparency has only worsened doubts. Adjustments are propagated retrospectively to data, meaning trends, values, even the whole shape of centuries-long global temperature curve can change overnight. There is no telling what lies ahead in the peer-reviewed publication conveyor belt of adjustment logic, down the road. Additionally, there are multiple agencies producing a global temperature average, creating a sense of independent confirmation but under the hood they rely on the same data. In other words, there is wasteful expenditure. To top it, government officials spread alarm on social media using monthly global average figures that are meaningless in a climatological sense.

To prevent conflicts, as a starting point, temperature data gathering and archival and average estimation functions must be separated. Secondly, duplication can be eliminated between NOAA and GISS. Thirdly, the land and ocean average can be co-analyzed and cross-verified with satellite data to estimate a single temperature index, eliminating a portion of the ad-hoc adjustments, and reducing waste in one go. Two birds with one stone.

Renewable energy:

Renewable energy porkies and handouts are entirely wasteful. Renewable energy projects are environmentally harmful. But ‘renewable energy’ research is research – it provides  for tinkering and good things can come out of even the worst research. As much as the electorate hates hearing the words ‘climate change’, a baseline bare minimum of renewable projects keep guilty consciences sated, and years of climate propaganda has produced some guilt. Withdraw the boondoggles but don’t completely drain this swamp.

 

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Nauseous and jolted – Climateworld reacts to Trump

How has the climate blog world reacted to Donald Trump winning the US presidential election? Skeptics and regular people are probably walking around, celebrating, waving their mental middle finger at climate alarmists whose plans have been rudely interrupted.

Here’s the Sou meltdown:

My first reaction on hearing of Donald Trump’s probably (sic) victory was an emotional jolt, accompanied by the physical sensation of nausea. …

That’s the picture – a nauseous Sou, staggering for the smelling salts.

The first comment on the thread began:

I cried today …

CRR Kampen wanted to move to a ‘safe space’

I might now adopt ‘despair’ and see about planning for the remainder of my existence in some safe place on the globe if there be any. […]

Bernard J, ever ready to bury people under the weight of his prose, begins:

I’ve been working …to increase resilience both in my own personal sphere and in my local community, at the expense of my previous engagement online …

And on and on it goes, for more than 250 comments from shrinking violets and snowflakes, only many of them are properly geriatric.

At the Eli Rabett blog, someone called Brian appears to have taken over and is in … denial, with a post titled:

The American people have spoken, and they chose Hillary Clinton

The most hilarious blog on Trump in all of climate land comes from (who else) Realclimate. In characteristic fashion, with no regard to reality or polling results, ‘group’ exhorted readers:

Don’t make a choice that you, your children and your children’s children will regret forever.

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Michael Mann of Realclimate interviewed by Leonardo DiCaprio

Apart from the ‘think of the grandchildren’ nonsense, out-of-touch ‘group’ was as tone deaf with Trump as it was during Brexit. Without a doubt its members’ jet-setting around the world and rubbing shoulders with celebrities has only hastened the schism.

Astrophysics Alienpsychosis

Imagine a researcher studies the ideas of psychiatric ward patients suffering hallucinations. “It’s staggering, ” he concludes, ” the evidence points to aliens controlling the minds of these people via special radio waves.”

Now picture a group of astronomers studying the brightness of a distant star (called KIC 8462852). “It is astounding, ” they conclude, “the evidence points to aliens controlling the brightness levels of the star via an enormous mega-structure.”

In the world around you today, if a researcher concluded the former, he would be thrown into an asylum himself. If he arrived at the latter conclusion – that aliens were controlling the brightness of a star – he would be paraded in the front pages of newspapers and be given media interviews.

Want to make lots of money, be famous and sell out? Join science and push out your premature conclusions. Just make sure you include a ‘sci-comm’ hook, like aliens.

 

The Fiske Fiskers

Susan Fiske, a professor of psychology at Princeton University recently wrote a longish rant about critics of research who operate out of social media platforms and blogs. This has people like Andrew Gelman and neuroskeptic quite excited (see their respective articles here and here)

Why am I dinging these excellent bloggers, you ask? After all, their response to Fiske who accuses bloggers of ‘methodological terrorism’ and as being ‘destructo-critics’ contains a number of valid points.

Both Gelman and neuroskeptic have seen the work of Stephen Lewandowsky. They had every opportunity to examine his work thoroughly and reach their conclusions. Both chose to stand in support of Lewandowsky.

Gelman has not commented on Lewandowsky’s papers directly but nonchalantly promoted one of his opinion pieces with Dorothy Bishop. The paper was on methods of efficient gate-keeping and preventing methodological terrorists (bloggers) from getting published . neuroskeptic’s attitude toward Lewandowsky’s methods can only be described as a form of aggressive ignorance, as he promoted the now-retracted ‘Recursive Fury’ paper, which retailed labeling the same methodological terrorists as ‘conspiracists’.

In other words, what mattered was who was being disparaged and labeled. When the critics were climate skeptics, they’ were ok. When it appears as though Fiske’s open-ended vague attack might include bloggers like them, they are unhappy.

This simply shows acceptance or serious consideration of criticism of scientific results depends not merely on the validity of the points being made, but on the social context, the packaging and the channels through which it arrives. Gelman and neuroskeptic are no more immune to wild rants, ideological blind-spots and irrational thinking against ‘methodological terrorism’ than Susan Fiske is.

They would do good to stop preaching to her.

 

Climate Brexit in three tweets

Exhibit 1 is from Michael Mann drawing a connection between climate change and Brexit. That’s right, you guessed it: Brexit was caused by climate change

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In reality, ‘climate change’ is a news headline parasite. Whatever issue is making headlines is either a cause of climate change or is caused by it. The rule is far simpler, easily remembered, and probably true.

Exhibit 2 is from Gavin Schmidt drawing a parallel between Brexit supporters and vaccine-averse parents.

vaccination

Anyone who has a different opinion than Schmidt is an idiot, an anti-vaxxer, ‘racist’ or a Holocaust denier. Even if they constitute >51% of the voting British public.

Exhibit 3 is from James Annan, according to whom the Brexit vote must simply be thrown away.

sane1

That’s right. The final outcome of a referendum, with only two possible results as outcomes, happens to be something that needs to be rejected. Why did they even hold the referendum in the first place? 

[minor edits]

The attack of the Watts parasito-clones

Anthony Watts has spawned numerous clones and reaction blogs over the years. The worst is probably ‘Sou Bundanga‘. Sou does not write original material. Instead, every post is a reaction to a WUWT post appended to color commentary and comments lifted wholesale from WUWT itself.

Sou probably is consumed by intense hatred when writing her WUWT reaction blogs. How else can  you explain something like this? Reacting to a Watts post on the hypocrisy of climate scientists Sou goes ballistic. Drawing a parallel between Watts’ posts and the shock killing of UK Labour politician Jo Cox, she says:

postscript

This is unhinged.

If you are someone who thinks people who read Anthony Watts’ blog—’his nutters’ as she calls them— are capable of murdering scientists and will actually carry it out, you have reached the end of the line. You have no business  critiquing, analyzing and dissecting what he writes.

As with Gavin Schmidt it is obvious between Sou and Watts who got carried away politicizing an act of violence.

Go home safe, Sou, you are lost.

Gavin Schmidt: Brexit would lead to more than street killings of MPs

Yesterday British MP Jo Cox was killed by an attacker while going about meeting people in her constituency. The shocking incident set off a train of thoughts in Gavin Schmidt, who is from Britain.

A sudden crisis nearly always brings out hidden currents, which may have otherwise never surfaced. In his string of tweets Schmidt appears to blame ‘Brexit’ for the killing. His tweets followed the incident so closely in time there was no reliable information on motive.

The only possibility, then, is Schmidt was influenced by early reports that said the killer shouted “Britain first!” or the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee who wrote a long article squarely laying the blame for the murder at Brexit’s feet.

Schmidt pulls the trick climate activists have been resorting to, for decades:

schmidt copy

This is an incredible giveaway, isn’t it? Here we have an activist climate scientist, in the throes of a heated crisis, capitalizing on an event to attribute blame for murder on his political opponents, and going beyond, that if his side is defeated — in a fair election no less — more such incidents would occur.

It is speculation, wrapped in plausible deniability, capped off with a threat. How does he know the incident had anything to do with ‘Leave’?

Rremember, reliable information available on the killer’s motive was next-to-none at the time he wrote this. Yet Gavin Schmidt was quick off the bat.

Why wouldn’t I think he does the same with climate, and weather? ‘While no single weather event can be attributed to anthropogenic global warming, more such disasters would occur in a climate-changed world’ — how many times have we heard this from activists and scientists alike?

It is a reflexive exploitation of a crisis – you ascribe blame on your target, and while you cannot be fully sure it was what caused it, you nevertheless proceed to forecast more of the same, investing the threat with a cloak of probabilism.

Note: I wrote this originally on Medium. Only slightly modified here.

A La Jolla RICO Junta true story

The football coaches, assistant coaches and game strategists were distraught. They had gathered in the most idyllic of resorts in La Jolla for brainstorming.

‘Look, we’ve been playing game after game, not a single win’.

‘Not a win in years’.

Soccer coach Banton Pants stood up. ‘Guys, guys, relax’, he said.

‘In soccer, we used this trick. A player would run straight into the center-forward, collide, fall down injured and cry out loud.’

‘And then..’, cried Namory Goreskes, breathlessly. A football historian by trade, she knew nothing about soccer.

‘What else? ‘The referee would swoop in, pull out the red card and hold it up, the star player would be kicked out. The whole stadium would boo the guy on his way out – for cheating.’

‘We won several matches this way’.

The group went silent. The implications sank in. ‘Wow’, said Goreskes eventually as she clapped slowly. ‘A wonderful idea … such an inspiring template.’

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‘So … you’re saying, you run in there, right in front of Exxon, crumple violently throwing up all these old documents culled from a local library into the air, and the referee Attorney General shows up and dismisses Exxon?

‘Yeah and you get unlimited downs after that. And lots of money too’ – concluded Pants.

The coaches left La Jolla energized. They decided to write a report on their meeting, specifically and clearly documenting their plan to use the ‘fake injury red card’ learned from soccer to get opponents kicked out of future American football games.

References:

InsideClimate: NY AG Started RICO Planning Before Any InsideClimate Stories Were Released. Katie Brown, Energy In Depth, June 7, 2016

There are no parallels between the tobacco industry and the oil industry

One sells a product that causes many documented, scientifically provable harms but provides pleasure to its users. The other sells a product that causes harm that exists only in the minds of climate activists, but is otherwise essential for modern life, including those of activists.

Nobody buys gas for their car because they are ‘addicted’ to it. Unlike cigarettes, if you give up gasoline and quit cold turkey you will still need to find another source of energy to do the same job. Cigarettes you can quit, it won’t kill you. A substance that serves an essential function of modern life is not an addiction.

The moral template of addiction, abstinence and sin does not apply to fossil fuels.

Climate activists have been thrashing about for decades, fitting their cause into pre-existing societal moral conundrums. Successful moral conundrums seize the imagination of a public, elicit outrage and legislation and create a change in mores. Latching on to one could catapult the cause because there are pre-existing social mechanisms and a thirst for moral action to produce trajectories.

Which is why you see the activists in turn talking about pollution, polar bears, grandchildren, slavery and the third world. Unfortunately, their nonsense doesn’t fit anything. How can one tell? Ask the question: in all the years and years of climate campaigning, has there ever, been a bonafide popular uprising or political movement solely in the name of the climate cause? Everyone’s heard their crap a million times, and no one buys it.

 

The New York Times: Wrong on the La Jolla RICO Junta

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There is a puff piece for the Oreskes/UCS/CAI RICO racket written by John Schwartz who is ‘science writer for The New York Times.’

Schwartz says the Oreskes/UCS/CAI – labeled the La Jolla junta – have been accused of fomenting a conspiracy when their actions have been out in the open all along. They published their plans in a report. So, no conspiracy he declares.

‘Conspiracy’ has become an easy smear word for too many people. Don’t like your critics?  Paint them as people who believe in ‘conspiracies’.  ‘Conspiracy’ is the rhetorical sledgehammer of the day.

Look at the activists plan carefully. The group wanted to prosecute the fossil fuel industry in order to imitate tobacco control activists and create ‘public outrage’. This came first. To do this, they needed incriminating documents that fit the RICO legal template. They had none at the time they hatched their plans. Members of the junta worked with state attorney generals who initiated investigations and issued subpeonas to Exxon.

The public narrative is the opposite: InsideClimateNews discovered documents that proved ‘Exxon knew’. This moved the environmentally conscientious attorney generals to launch investigations.

The junta had no reason, no locus or starting point to go after Exxon to begin with. They were conjured up to fit the template of the tobacco court cases. After having decided on the type of documents that were needed, they were ‘found’. Using these, legal summons for further confidential documents were issued – just like it was planned.

This is the very definition of a conspiracy. The fact that the La Jolla junta wrote a report about it doesn’t change the arrow of causality. Dragging companies to court for the express purpose of promoting your environmental cause is a conspiracy.